Frost Death Knight Patch 9.1 Changes Analysis

Last updated on Jul 17, 2021 at 19:48 by Bicepspump 25 comments
General Information

On this page, we tell you how the Patch 9.1 changes for Frost Death Knight affect the spec and what the current state of theorycrafting is.

1.

Frost Death Knight Patch 9.1 Changes Overview

The Frost Death Knight only saw a single change for PvE in Patch 9.1. Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone was nerfed to now have an absorption cap equal to 1.5 times your Maximum Health, increased by your Versatility. The base duration was also nerfed from 10 to 8 seconds.

2.

Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.1

There have been no base spec changes for the Frost Death Knight.

3.

Talent Changes for Patch 9.1

Frost Death Knights have received no talent changes in 9.1.

4.

Legendary Changes for Patch 9.1

4.1.

Covenant Legendaries

All specs gained access to four Legendaries in Patch 9.1, with each of them working solely with one — and only one — Covenant.

4.1.1.

Abomination's Frenzy

Abomination's Frenzy Icon Abomination's Frenzy is the Necrolord Death Knight Legendary, and modifies Abomination Limb Icon Abomination Limb in three important ways:

  • It makes it last longer, totaling roughly 30% more damage over its duration.
  • It also reduces the interval between Rime Icon Rime proc gains from 6s to 4s (+2 procs overall).
  • Finally, whenever it grips a target, your current target gets a debuff making it take 10% additional damage for 12s. This is likely a bug compared to the debuff applying to the gripped target instead.

This is generally quite a weak Legendary. The increased duration is nice and the two extra procs of Rime Icon Rime works well. However, the Legendary has little value in single-target which is a big issue. The 10% additional damage taken is difficult to leverage and simply does not work on bosses and certain mobs; overall it is a lackluster legendary.

4.1.2.

Final Sentence

Hearkening all the way back to early Shadowlands Beta, the Kyrian Legendary is an effect that grants you 2% Strength and refunds a Rune whenever you manage to spread Shackle the Unworthy Icon Shackle the Unworthy. The Strength bonus caps at 10%.

With limited value in AoE and zero gain for single-target, this Legendary is simply not a great choice. Sure, you can boost your AoE but it relies on a spread mechanic which is inconsistent. It is, overall, lackluster and not something we would recommend

4.1.3.

Rampant Transference

This Legendary is comprised of two distinct effects, even though the tooltip can be misleading:

  • While you are in Death's Due Icon Death's Due, you generate 20% more Runic Power.
  • The Death's Due Icon Death's Due buff lasts 2 seconds longer, and each stack grants 1% more Strength, boosting the total Strength bonus of Death's Due Icon Death's Due to 12%.

Buffing the strength of Death's Due is not that great, especially since that is not the strong part of the Legendary to start with. Generating extra Runic Power is nice and can give ~20 Runic Power for each use. Overall though, this is not a lot and the Legendary is too undertuned for us to recommend it.

4.1.4.

Insatiable Hunger

This Legendary adds a detonation at the end of Swarming Mist Icon Swarming Mist, scaling up with the amount of Runic Power you spent during it.

This is a solid AoE Legendary that brings little value in single target. When running Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa, you can easily reach 300%+ damage increase on the Legendary blast. However, outside of Breath the number is significantly lower, especially since the Frost Death Knight does not fancy spending much Runic Power in AoE. Furthermore, the damage is good on multiple targets, but really lackluster on one. Overall, it is not tuned high enough to be recommended.

4.2.

Other Legendary Changes for 9.1

Unlike some other classes, no other Legendaries have been tweaked or reworked.

5.

Conduit and Soulbind Changes for Patch 9.1

In 9.1, all the Soulbinds gained a number of additional rows of Conduits and generic traits, along with a new capstone trait.

To provide a quick summary before the wall of text explaining each trait in detail:

5.1.

Kyrian

5.1.1.

Pelagos

Pelagos gains the following Conduits:

  • An additional Potency Conduit
  • A choice of either:
    • An Endurance Conduit and Better Together Icon Better Together, effectively working out to 40 permanent additional Mastery.
    • A Finesse Conduit and Path of the Devoted Icon Path of the Devoted, which is very weak considering that players generally do not get affected by full loss-of-control effects outside of core misplays in PvE.
  • Newfound Resolve Icon Newfound Resolve, working like the Lady Inerva Darkvein Mythic mechanic, and granting you 12% Strength and Stamina for 15 seconds if you succeed in its test. This can be problematic as the add can spawn behind you.

Thanks to the last trait and the "bonus" 40 Mastery on top of the Mastery provided by the 9.0 tree, Pelagos remains a very viable and competitive Soulbind going into 9.1.

5.1.2.

Kleia

Kleia gains the following Conduits:

  • An additional Potency Conduit
  • A choice of either:
    • An Endurance Conduit and 3% Critical Strike whenever you damage an enemy above 90% health.
    • A Finesse Conduit and 10% damage reduction for you and your lowest-health ally, along with the heal and the debuff cleanse for them as well, whenever you use your Phial of Serenity Icon Phial of Serenity.
  • Light the Path Icon Light the Path modifies Valiant Strikes Icon Valiant Strikes by making each stack grant 0.25% more Critical Strike. When the stacks convert into a heal, you and the affected party member gain 5% Critical Strike.

Kleia has gained quite a lot in terms of crit-buffing power. Still, it is not enough to topple the Kyrian king that is Pelagos.

5.1.3.

Mikanikos

Forgelite Prime Mikanikos gains the following Conduits:

  • An additional Potency Conduit
  • A choice of either:
    • An Endurance Conduit and Soulglow Spectrometer Icon Soulglow Spectrometer, granting you up to 5% damage to your target, stacking over 15s, and possibly changing targets between activations.
    • A Finesse Conduit and Reactive Retrofitting Icon Reactive Retrofitting, which works out two absorbs totaling 16% of your maximum Health at time of proc, one for physical damage, and one for magical damage, per 30 seconds.
  • Effusive Anima Accelerator Icon Effusive Anima Accelerator deals AoE damage around the target you used Shackle the Unworthy Icon Shackle the Unworthy on, and reduces its cooldown by up to 20s. This is pretty potent, but not as impactful as it is for some of the other classes.

Overall, Mikanikos has been buffed but not enough to become competitive for the Frost Death Knight.

5.2.

Venthyr

5.2.1.

Nadjia

Nadjia the Mistblade gains the following Conduits:

  • An additional Potency Conduit
  • A choice of either:
    • A Finesse Conduit and Sinful Preservation Icon Sinful Preservation, granting you 50% of the value of all Healthstone Icon Healthstones and health potions you consume as an absorb. This has mad value for Mythic+.
    • An Endurance Conduit and Nimble Steps Icon Nimble Steps, snaring enemies near you by 10% and turning into a 4-second root when you drop below 35% health.
  • Fatal Flaw Icon Fatal Flaw, granting you 20% Critical Strike or Versatility after The Euphoria effect from Thrill Seeker Icon Thrill Seeker ends for 10 seconds. It will pretty much always give us Critical Strike (as long as your stats are well-balanced). Unfortunately, it does not sync with any cooldown for pure single target. It does see a big jump in power for Mythic+ since you can trigger the effect more often.

With these changes, Nadjia will very likely dethrone Theotar as the default Soulbind overall, even on top-tier progression.

5.2.2.

Theotar

Theotar the Mad Duke's last trait feels underwhelming and can vary in its provided buff. As a result, it is very difficult to gauge its relative strength, but it is otherwise weak and uncontrollable.

5.2.3.

Draven

General Draven gains the following Conduits:

  • An additional Potency Conduit
  • A choice of either:
  • Battlefield Presence Icon Battlefield Presence, which is basically up to 3% damage increase. Important to note is that it is only 1% on pure single-target which is really quite bad.

Draven continues as the worst Venthyr Soulbind.

5.3.

Night Fae

5.3.1.

Niya

Niya gains the following Conduits:

  • An additional Potency Conduit
  • A choice of either:
    • An Endurance Conduit and Called Shot Icon Called Shot, granting you movement speed when you land a critical strike.
    • A Finesse Conduit and Survivor's Rally Icon Survivor's Rally, working as a 20% heal over 10 seconds when you drop below 50%, once per minute. It is a nice defensive addition for us.
  • Bonded Hearts Icon Bonded Hearts, causing you to effectively heal up to 5 nearby friendly targets for 2% of their health every 15s. If you heal somebody from another Covenant — which is kind of difficult considering that 95% of the DPS are Night Fae these days — each stack of Grove Invigoration Icon Grove Invigoration is amplified by 50%.

Overall, Niya is getting some nice additions. Her previous power is large enough to carry her into the top spot for Frost Death Knights in 9.1.

5.3.2.

Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver is unlikely to be a competitive Soulbind in 9.1.

5.3.3.

Korayn

Korayn gains the following Conduits:

  • A Potency Conduit
  • A choice of either:
    • An Endurance Conduit and Vorkai Ambush Icon Vorkai Ambush, effectively working as a 5% DR from any mob you interrupt for 5 seconds. This has good value with Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet but is generally not great since we do not expect any adds to hit us an awful lot.
    • A Finesse Conduit and Hunt's Exhilaration Icon Hunt's Exhilaration, giving you 3% Leech for 5s when you damage a new mob.
  • Wild Hunt Strategem Icon Wild Hunt Strategem, allowing you to gain a small amount of execute damage whenever you trigger First Strike Icon First Strike and requiring you to have two targets nearby to optimize:

Overall this Soulbind is, frankly, weak. First Strike Icon First Strike still carries it, but that is all it has going for it.

5.4.

Necrolord

5.4.1.

Plague Deviser Marileth

Plague Deviser Marileth gains the following Conduits:

  • A Potency Conduit
  • A choice of either:
    • An Endurance Conduit and Viscous Trail Icon Viscous Trail, which feels like a PvP Conduit.
    • A Finesse Conduit and Undulating Maneuvers Icon Undulating Maneuvers, which is basically a reduced version of a Brewmaster Monk's Stagger Icon Stagger. It works as an absorb and can proc off itself.
  • Kevin's Oozeling Icon Kevin's Oozeling, which is very unwieldy and very poorly-described by the tooltip. Think of it like a pet guardian that melees whatever you autoattacked last. Whenever somebody nearby takes real damage (i.e., not absorbed), they gain a small shield. You, meanwhile, get 2% extra damage to anything the oozeling touched while it was up. When it despawns, all the effects go away.

Plague Deviser Marileth is looking really strong in Patch 9.1 with the addition of Kevin's Oozeling Icon Kevin's Oozeling. A 6% damage increase is no joke and the single-target output will probably be solid.

5.4.2.

Emeni

Emeni gains the following Conduits:

  • A Potency Conduit
  • A choice of either:
    • An Endurance Conduit and Sole Slough Icon Sole Slough, granting allies 20% speed when you start moving. Potentially situationally good on fights where fast, specific movement matters.
    • A Finesse Conduit and Resilient Stitching Icon Resilient Stitching, working out to a 15% magic damage absorb per minute. This is weak and uninteresting, but still worth mentioning.
  • Pustule Eruption Icon Pustule Eruption, which forces you to cast Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft to deal some damage to nearby enemies every time you take damage and heal your friends for some as well.

The final trait does add a sizeable amount of damage. It does force you to channel Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft for 3 seconds but you can often find instances where this is not too bad.

Emeni is likely to stay as the best Frost Death Knight Necrolord soulbind due to aligning well with our cooldowns.

5.4.3.

Bonesmith Heirmir

Bonesmith Heirmir gains the following Conduits:

  • A Potency Conduit
  • A choice of either:
    • An Endurance Conduit and Carver's Eye Icon Carver's Eye, granting you a large amount of Mastery for 5 seconds whenever you damage an enemy above 90% health, stacking 5 times. It is a lot of Mastery and it has a ton of value on fights with adds or in Mythic+.
    • A Finesse Conduit and Waking Bone Breastplate Icon Waking Bone Breastplate, increasing your max HP by 5% whenever 3 or more enemies are nearby. This is simple and likely good in Mythic+, but weaker than Carver's Eye Icon Carver's Eye due to it having no offensive/throughput benefits.
  • Mnemonic Equipment Icon Mnemonic Equipment, working out to 3% more execute damage which is nice. Its overall output increase is not huge but still nice with more execute damage.

Heirmir unfortunately does not synergise with the Frost Death Knight since Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone Icon Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone does not line up with our cooldowns. The added traits are nice but not enough to make Heirmir the top choice.

6.

Changelog

  • 17 Jul. 2021: Updated with recent hotfixes.
  • 29 Jun. 2021: Created page.
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